Technology-mediated versus face-to-face intergenerational programming

Marcia S. Marx*, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Karine Renaudat, Alexander Libin, Khin Thein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Elderly computer novices received 1-on-1 e-mail training, which enabled them to communicate electronically with elementary school-aged pen-pals. A traditional intergenerational visiting program was conducted concurrently. Program evaluation revealed that the intergenerational visiting program was rated favorably by 88% of the participating seniors and the intergenerational e-mail program was rated favorably by 57% of the seniors. Yet, only 6 (out of 23) seniors expressed interest in continuing to e-mail their pen-pals beyond the program period. While technology may never take the place of human contact for some seniors, increased computer support as well as arranging for e-mail pen-pals to meet in person might help boost the popularity of this form of intergenerational communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-118
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • E-mail pen-pals
  • Nonfamilial
  • Senior-child interaction


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